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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
#9
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Check out this thread:
http://jclist.com/modules/newbb/viewt ... 17&forum=9#forumpost36258

So, yes there has been public opposition. The taking of the Flamingo was at least defensible, as it was for a road. The city tried to screw the owner by not paying what the property is worth but backed down.

I hope that the ACLU helps. It will be nice if they have expanded their conception of rights to property rights. If only they could make the stretch to 2nd amendment rights.


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DanL wrote:
An outpouring of public opposition helped stop the city from taking the Flamingo Restaurant by Exchange Pl. to widen Greene St., though I am not sure if the Golden Cicada holds the same public affection as the Flamingo does.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the Golden Cicada shuttered for a couple of years before recently reopening maybe 6-12 months ago.

Posted on: 2005/10/11 1:48
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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Here is an article that appeared in The Star Ledger on October 2nd.

On May 21st, two cousins hosted a fundraising dinner for their Assemblyman in Union Township, NJ.

On May24th, the five member township committee voted to seize a property owners land by eminent domain to make way for a development. ( 90 townhouses).

Q- Who is the developer?

A- The two cousins

http://www.nj.com/search/index.ssf?/b ... xml?starledger?nnj&coll=1
Assemblyman denies influencing townhouse deal
Union Twp. moves to seize land, give supporter building rights
Sunday, October 02, 2005
IAN T. SHEARN
Star-Ledger Staff
On May 21, Albert G. Mauti Jr. and his cousin Joseph hosted a fundraiser for Assemblyman Joseph Cryan at the Westmount Country Club in Passaic County. The two developers and family members picked up the $10,400 dinner tab, donated another $8,000 and raised more than $70,000 that night for the powerful Union County Democrat, according to state election records.

Three days later, the governing body in Cryan's hometown of Union Township -- all Democrats -- introduced an ordinance paving the way for the Mautis to build 90 or so townhouses on six acres of abandoned industrial land along the Conrail line in town.

There is just one problem: Union Township doesn't own the land.

It is owned by Carol Segal, a 65-year-old retired electrical engineer. Over the past 10 years, the Union Township resident says, he has spent about $1.5 million to acquire the property, and he, too, wants to build townhouses there.

Segal said he met with Cryan, who is head of the township's Democratic Party, and other local officials "scores of times" over the past five years to discuss the project. He claims the talks turned adversarial after he rejected proposals to work with various developers they proposed.

On May 24, the five-member township committee voted unanimously to authorize the municipality to seize Segal's land through eminent domain and name its own developer.

"They want to steal my land," Segal said. "What right do they have when I intend to do the exact same thing they want to do with my property?"

Cryan, 44, a rising star in state Democratic politics, denied any connection between the fundraiser and the committee's vote. He described the Mautis as "good friends," but said he played no role in shaping the township's redevelopment plan.

Posted on: 2005/10/10 3:11
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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There was an article today in The Washington Times about an 83 year old man in St. Louis. He faces an eminent domain order forcing him to leave so an office and store development can move in. $160 million dollar development.

This really bothers me.

I know all the arguments in support of the decision regarding Golden Cicada but for the city to declare an eminent domain decision so a private intitution can build is a terrible decision.

Don't get me wrong, I love St Peter's Prep, but IMHO, this is wrong. Not only is this devastating to Cheng "Terry" Tang but sets precedence.

I think city officials need to know that residents are not happy about this decision and try to help fight it.

What does everyone else think?

The Kelo vs New London decision looks like it can be a danger to us all.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/specia ... 20051009-121740-3805r.htm
Drawing the line on eminent domain
By Joyce Howard Price
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
October 9, 2005


Jim Seelbach, 83, lives in a suburb of St. Louis and he is about to lose his home of 20 years. The city wants it to make way for a shopping center.
Mr. Seelbach and several dozen neighbors in the city of Sunset Hills face an eminent-domain order that could seize their properties to develop the $160 million complex filled with stores and offices.
Even if he were amenable to moving, he says the money offered for his home would make it impossible to find similar housing.
Mr. Seelbach has refused to accept the $118,000 offered for his two-bedroom, one-bath frame dwelling in the Sunset Manor subdivision near St. Louis.
"I can't find another home for $118,000, and at 83, there's no way I can even obtain a mortgage," he says.
Likewise, his neighbor, John N. Hogan, 79, a Korean War veteran who has lived in his house for nearly 50 years, doesn't want to move and doesn't think he has a fair offer for it.
"They want to take my three-bedroom, two-bath redwood home for $147,000. But I can't buy anything in this area for $147,000," he says.
Both men have filed lawsuits to block their ousters. They're not alone in their anger.
Homeowners nationwide are seeking to undo a June 23 Supreme Court ruling they see as the death of private-property rights. At issue is the high court's 5-4 decision in the Connecticut case of Kelo v. City of New London, in which justices said government -- typically, cities and counties -- can seize private property from its owner and give it to a private developer who promises to use it to generate more tax revenue.
"This was, perhaps, the most universally unpopular Supreme Court decision in recent memory," says Dana Berliner, a senior lawyer with the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm that was involved in the legal case. "It is a universally despised opinion."
In the Kelo case, the institute represented nine New London homeowners, who tried to halt the city's takeover of their properties for economic redevelopment. Miss Berliner argued their case before the Supreme Court.
"A lot of Supreme Court decisions affect only a small number of people. But this ruling affects everyone, since everybody either owns a home or hopes to own one someday. It changes what it means to own a home or a business," Miss Berliner says, adding that the property now can be seized to make way for anything from strip malls to amusement parks under what the institute calls the Supreme Court's "expanded" interpretation of eminent domain.

Cont. http://www.washingtontimes.com/specia ... 20051009-121740-3805r.htm

Posted on: 2005/10/10 0:54
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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We have a MAKE MY PARK flyer on our main entry door.

If someone made a flyer that said:

THOU SHALT NOT STEAL!
SAVE THE GOLDEN CICADA!

or something in that vein, I would rock it, too.

Posted on: 2005/10/8 18:02
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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If there is a rally to support the cicada I'm there.

I hope someone spray paints thou shall not steal (commandment 8) on the school building.

Or even commandment 10
Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house; thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

(I assume the last clause counts for Bars)


Posted on: 2005/10/8 17:48
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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An outpouring of public opposition helped stop the city from taking the Flamingo Restaurant by Exchange Pl. to widen Greene St., though I am not sure if the Golden Cicada holds the same public affection as the Flamingo does.

Correct me if I am wrong, but wasn't the Golden Cicada shuttered for a couple of years before recently reopening maybe 6-12 months ago.

Posted on: 2005/10/8 14:35
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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I am not aware of any organzied form of community support for Golden Cicada.

I really feel for the guy everytime I see his home made sign hanging on the gate that says

"Hands Off My Property"

I think SPP is a great school and important to the community. I have supported the school over the years and like to see good things happen
But this....well, it's wrong.

Posted on: 2005/10/8 13:55
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Re: Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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This is great news for the Golden Cicada.

Maybe St. Peter's and the JCRA will reconsider, nobody wants bad press like this. Then again, maybe they will fight harder. Either way, at least having the ACLU represent the Golden Cicada will definitely lift a huge financial burden for Tan.

Has there been any showing of community support for Tan?

Posted on: 2005/10/8 13:31
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Golden Cicada Help from ACLU
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As the owner of The Golden Cicada, Cheng "Terry" Tang, continues his legal battle, it looks as if he might being getting some help from the ACLU.


http://www.nj.com/news/jjournal/jerse ... 28762947174610.xml&coll=3
'GOLDEN' DEFENDER
ACLU likely to represent tavern in eminent domain fight
Saturday, October 08, 2005
By BONNIE FRIEDMAN
JOURNAL STAFF WRITER
The New Jersey chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union will likely represent the owner of a Downtown tavern who is fighting the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency in its efforts to take his property through eminent domain.

Ronald Chen, an associate dean at Rutgers Law School-Newark, and a volunteer attorney with the ACLU, said he is "strongly examining" the case of Cheng "Terry" Tan, who owns the Golden Cicada tavern.

In July, the Jersey City Redevelopment Agency took title to the 5,000-square-foot bar with the intention of turning it over to St. Peter's Prep, a private Catholic high school for boys. The school intends to demolish the tavern in order to add 7 yards to an adjacent athletic field.

Chen said the case is interesting because it touches on two constitutional issues: the use of eminent domain to take from one private party and give to another; and separation of church and state.

The case, Chen said, poses a challenge in light of the Supreme Court's recent Kelo v. New London, Conn., decision reaffirming the government's right to transfer property between private owners.

For Tan, the backing of the ACLU would save him thousands of dollars that he would otherwise have to pay to a private attorney.

"The ACLU will be taking this pro bono and that is very important," Tan said. "For a private lawyer, it will not be profitable to represent for the right to take other than to do a settlement."

Tan has fired several lawyers who recommended taking a settlement and has since been representing himself.

The case - which was scheduled for yesterday - was postponed until Nov. 4 in front of Superior Court Judge Maurice Gallipoli.

Posted on: 2005/10/8 12:56
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